Moscowa Cemetery & Crematorium – Arnhem, Netherlands4 min read
This monumental cemetery was opened in 1876. It is located in north of Arnhem, Netherlands, and over the centuries it has grown into a park of more than thirty hectares.
Its name, Moscowa, derives from the manor farm of the same name, which is just outside the cemetery.
The farm was built in 1847 by Jacob Carel Jan baron van Heeckeren van Enghuizen, a military man in heart and soul who liked to name his farms after the military campaigns he undertook while serving in the French army – in this case a campaign to Moscow in 1812 under Napoleon.
Moscowa has two chapels, with the typical pointed form, and a crematorium opened in 1974.
It’s divided into the general section, the Roman Catholic section and the Islamic section.
In addition to the burial area, there is also a field for ash scattering, an area for the burial of children, columbariums, urn tombs and also freestanding urns in the dedicated garden with a wide variety of memorials, many created by artists from Arnhem and the surrounding area.
The cemetery is characterized by its lovely setting, monumental design and a variety of flora and fauna. The many unusual conifer trees are an especially striking feature, and a wide variety of birds breed at Moscowa, including the Green Woodpecker, the Tawny Owl and the Buzzard. In the autumn, there is a wide array of fungi, including the Cauliflower mushroom, Fly Agaric, Bay Bolete and Penny Bun or Porcino. This makes Moscowa not only a last resting place, but also a favourite with walkers, where people can also relax and enjoy the peaceful and artistic surrounding.
There are a multitude of historic and art-historic reasons to take a stroll around Moscowa, including many very special monuments and tombs signed by artists and sculptors, in all kinds of different materials. Among the more striking in the collection are a truncated obelisk, an intricately embroidered pall over a coffin and an ornately sculpted neo-Gothic cross, but also a monument with great symbolism representing Faith, Hope and Charity, an Art Nouveau memorial and a mausoleum, the only one of its kind.
There are also some special columbarium walls, both in the Roman Catholic and in the general section of the cemetery, where urns can be buried in niches. Every part and every columbarium has its own unique look and style, so people can decide which environment best suits their loved ones.
Many parts are designated as national or municipal monuments and of course, a park with that kind of history naturally contains many curiosities and unusual stories. For example, the highest point in Arnhem lies in Moscowa, and over 260 species of trees can be found in the memorial park!
In the cemetery offer, you can find memorial urns and jewelry. Many relatives decide to keep (part of) the ashes of their loved ones in an urn to take back home or in a specially made jewel or medallion that they can carry with them all the time.
Moscowa is popular also for its personalised ceremonies: it has two wonderful auditoriums, both with a characteristic gable roof and a stained glass rear facade. It is possible to play (live) music, and display images on modern equipment and, after the ceremony, it offer extensive catering options with coffee and patisserie, sumptuously filled rolls or soup, in its tasteful reception areas.
The Tearoom is open daily for queries about the location of a certain memorial spot or to buy flowers and, of course, to serve food and drink. On Sundays, there are regular events in the Tearoom like a flower-arranging or sculpture workshop, or a reading by a mourning guide.
Author’s notes: the Tearoom is open seven days a week from 10.00 to 16.00 hours. Internationally, Moscowa is recognised as cultural heritage. In 2013, Moscowa was invited to become a member of the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe (ASCE), an association founded to create a European network of unusual cemeteries. Members include Père-Lachaise in Paris, Montjuic in Barcelona and Cimitero del Verano in Rome. WEBSITE OF MOSCOWA CEMETERY HERE .